A blocked bank account is essential for a German student visa. It’s financial proof that all international students need to provide for a visa application. Currently, students must have at least 10,236 EUR or 8,5 Lakh Indian rupees available. Therefore, they will need to open a blocked account in their country to be able to apply for a visa.
Indian students can open a blocked bank account from India without visiting Germany. Fortunately, there are some options to open a blocked account for your studies in Germany from your home country:
- Deutsche Bank
- Kotak Mahindra Bank
These are the most common and possible ways for international students to open a blocked account, thus, proving their financial resources. In this article, we explain the best way to open a blocked bank account in Germany and the process you need to follow.
What is a blocked bank account?
Under current law regulations in Germany, if you’re an international student from a non-EU/EEA country, you must prove you have the financial resources (Finanzierungsnachweis) to cover your living expenses in Germany.
The minimum annual amount for a blocked bank account is 10,236 EUR. Students can withdraw a maximum of 853 EUR per month.
A blocked bank account is the most often used and effective way to prove your financial situation for a German study visa. The amount of money will be deposited into your German account and thus will cover the cost of living for the entire year.
You can withdraw only a limited amount of money in a month. The blocked account meets the requirement of having the financial means to be able to live in Germany for one year as a student.
International students must open a blocked account as soon as they receive your letter of admission because the entire prozess can take between 2 and 3 weeks, and an additional 4 weeks for issuing a visa.
Open a blocked bank account in Germany from India
There are 4 ways to open a blocked bank account, but in Germany, only two banks offer this service: Fintiba and Deutsche Bank.
DR.WALTER is an insurance company that provides these services, and Kotak Mahindra Bank is an Indian bank that is recognized by the German government.
Fintiba is a large German company that aims to help international students in Germany. Most students choose this option because Fintiba provides a quick process and low costs.
The blocked bank account from Fintiba is officially approved by German immigration and is recommended by the local authorities. Fintiba also provides health insurance which you will need for your visa application.
Opening the account takes just 10 minutes, and you just register on their website and provide your ID. After registration and arrival in Germany, you can easily access your account and withdraw money, but only the allowed amount – 852 EUR per month.
You will also be able to open a regular bank account through Fintiba. Officially Fintiba serves as an intermediary party between you and a bank in Germany where your blocked account will be created. The reason for this, no bank in Germany works with potential/new clients online; they always need to visit an office.
After you have finished your studies, the blocked account with Fintiba will be closed automatically unless you extend it for visa extension purposes. However, you can keep your debit card until it expires.
Deutsche Bank was always a classic way for international students to open a blocked account in Germany. However, after Fintiba arrived on the market, it lost its popularity. The process takes longer, and more documents are required.
Deutsche Bank has a more complicated system in place and higher costs. Moreover, you can’t open an account online as with Fintiba; you must do it via the German embassy in India.
You can also use a German insurance company DR.WALTER to open a blocked bank account. Besides the bank account, you will need insurance for your visa. So, you can apply for both directly with them.
DR.WALTER has supported international students for 60 years. With the blocked bank account, they want to make admission to studies in Germany even easier.
A blocked bank account from DR.WALTER will be opened through a partner bank. Their health insurance packages include EDU24 and German Student and fulfill requirements for visa application. They are also very inexpensive options compared to other companies.
A blocked account from DR.WALTER costs only 49 EUR to set up and 5 EUR for a monthly fee. The price for health insurance EDU24 is 33 EUR, and for “German student” insurance is 33 EUR for the first 19 months and 50 EUR after.
Another way is to open a bank account at Kotak Mahindra Bank in India. It’s the only bank in India that cooperates with the German government. Kotak Mahindra Bank is an Indian private bank headquartered in Mumbai.
They have branches all over the country but mainly in big cities in the south, such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. Students will need to visit one of the branches of the Kotak Mahindra Bank and request a blocked account for studying in Germany.
Once the account is opened, the bank will send a confirmation mail with the details to the German embassy/consulate. After a student arrives in Germany, a blocked account must be opened with a local bank, which will cost around 150 EUR.
Which blocked account to choose?
As you can see, there are a few options to open a blocked bank account in Germany, but which one should you choose?
In general, the majority of international students choose Fintiba over other options mainly because applying through Fintiba is way easier and less time-consuming, as it can be done online.
In fact, it takes minutes to open your blocked account and transfer money. You will receive a confirmation from the German embassy right after registration.
You can also ask your university which option they recommend; they must be familiar with Fintiba too.
How to open a blocked bank account with Fintiba?
Most international students have heard about the blocked account provided by Fintiba in cooperation with Sutor Bank. Applying for a blocked account online without going through a bureaucratic nightmare has made it the most popular option among students.
Opening your blocking account at Fintiba can be completed online through the Fintiba web application.
You will be guided through the process, and the account will be opened in your name. Regarding documents, you will need a valid passport/ID to open an account. The passport doesn’t need to be certified by the embassy.
Steps you need to follow to open a blocked account with Fintiba:
- Go to Fintiba.com
- Fill out the application form. Once you have started the process, you will be redirected to the online application form. You must enter your personal data and verify your identity (scan your valid passport). Once the verification process is complete, your blocked account will be opened. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Open an account under your name; if your parents do it for you, it still must be under your name. Only you will have access to money while studying in Germany.
- Deposit money. After opening your account with Fintiba, you can transfer the required amount of money into your account.
- You will receive a confirmation e-mail only after the money is transferred. Once the amount has been transferred, Fintiba will automatically send you an email to confirm that your deposit has been accepted and that your blocked account is now active.
- After this step, you can make an appointment at the German embassy. Print out the confirmation email of your blocked account, as you need it at the embassy to prove your financial resources. That’s it! Once you have opened your blocked account, you have fulfilled one of the most important requirements to obtain your student visa.
How to open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank
To open a blocked account with Deutsche Bank, you must visit the German embassy or consulate in India. For this, you need to set an appointment through e-mail or phone in the embassy or consulate to get your application certified or attested.
Here are the steps you need to take to open a blocked bank account with Deutsche Bank but through the German embassy:
- Print two copies of the application form
- Fill in the application form, leaving empty the following sections: date, place, and signature–as they must be filled in when you certify the documents in the German diplomatic office later
- Bring your passport and one colored copy of your passport
- Pay a verification fee of 20 EUR
Besides, you need to have the following documents with you:
- Proof of the origin of funds (bank statements)
- Two passport-size photos
- Letter of university admission
- E-mail confirmation for the appointment date
As you finish with document verification at the local German embassy, mail them to the Deutsche bank’s address in Germany (as it is typically written in the application form). The Deutsche Bank in Germany will send you a confirmation email with your bank account details.
After you receive the confirmation, you can transfer the required amount to the account from your local bank in India.
The application processing time for a blocked account with Deutsche Bank takes anywhere between a week to over a month if you apply right before the semester starts, but it shouldn’t take longer than six weeks.
Once they send you the account approval and bank details, you need to transfer the required amount to your new account – make sure you cover the setup and monthly fees (155 EUR).
After your move to Germany, mail or bring the activation form with the address verification and student registration to a local Deutsche Bank office to finish the process. You will receive a debit card with access to your account.
Once you have your blocked bank account, you shouldn’t have any issues with the visa application.
How to open a blocked account with DR.WALTER
Opening your blocked account with DR.WALTER also doesn’t take long, and you will receive the official confirmation on the next day – at the latest.
To submit the application, go to the DR.WALTER website and follow the instructions there. You can easily apply online by using a form and uploading a copy of your passport. Then you can transfer the required amount and wait for the confirmation.
Once you’re in Germany, you’ll need to send them your address confirmation, university registration, and personal bank account details. Then you’ll have your blocked account for Germany all set up!
They will redirect you to the partner network where you submit your application. Their services are also used by many international students.
Moreover, with DR.WALTER, you will receive a free ISIC card – the International Student Identity Card, which will give you various student perks around the world.
This is the cheapest way to open a blocked account in Germany: the initial fee is 49 EUR, and the monthly fee is 5 EUR. You will need to pay for any blocked account monthly fees; however, regular accounts are usually free.
How to open a blocked account with Kotak Mahindra Bank
First, you need to choose the branch of Kotak Mahindra bank in India where you want to apply for a blocked bank account.
This bank has a presence in the south of the country but not in the north. However, it’s still possible to find Kotak Mahindra in New Delhi and some other cities.
Keep in mind that not all bank employees know the process of opening a blocked bank account. For that reason, opt for a branch in a large city or call them before and ask if the procedure is possible.
The list of documents you need to provide for a blocked account in Kotak Mahindra bank:
- Documents of your savings Account Opening Form and Know Your Customer (KYC) as per Bank’s KYC grid
- A copy of your passport
- The university’s admission letter
- The email of Indemnity in the bank’s format
- Your request to change your status from resident to non-resident, and your Resident Account to NRO
- Outward Remittance Form
- IP Cheque for INR value equivalent to 10,236 EUR. Make sure that you provide enough amount in rupees, including additional charges and losses in the exchange rate
- Student request letter – An undertaking from the applicant that will allow Kotak Mahindra Bank to freeze the deposited amount in the blocked account. This deposited amount will remain blocked until the student request to transfer this blocked amount to a German bank
- 1,000 INR worth of blank stamp paper (email indemnity) that you can get from the district collector’s office or a local court
What is Know Your Customer (KYC)?
Know Your Customer is a process that banks use to get customer information like biometric pictures, addresses, and other identity details. This process helps to ensure that the customer will not misuse the bank account.
The bank can take a copy of your official documents (passport, voter identity card, etc.) as a KYC document.
Students can expect the entire process to take anything between 15-20 days.
After you provide all the required documents, the bank will give you a letter of confirmation that the amount is blocked. You can use this letter as evidence for your visa at the German embassy.
Upon arrival to Germany, you can request Kotak Mahindra Bank to transfer the full deposited amount into a blocked account at the local bank in Germany. Therefore, you will need to open a blocked account in a German bank and a regular German bank account.
A local bank account for students is usually free, but for a blocked account, you will need to pay initial and monthly fees. Kotak Mahindra Bank will transfer all money to your new account within two working days.
The benefit of opening a blocked account at Kotak Mahindra Bank is that it’s free of charge. Keep in mind that after you arrive in Germany, you will need to open a blocked account anyway, which won’t be free; expect to pay around 150 EUR for an initial fee and 5,90 EUR monthly.
All options above will give you money-back in case of visa refusal.
How to transfer money to the blocked bank account?
If you did open a blocked bank account, not through Kotak Mahindra bank, you would need somehow transfer the amount to the bank in Germany.
You want to find a simple, efficient, and budget-friendly option. First, you need to keep in mind that there is no free money transfer from India to Germany; in some way, you will pay a fixed fee some will depend on the amount you send.
Sending money from India and to India can be quite problematic, but there are several options for that:
- International Bank Transfer
- Money Transfer Companies such as Western Union
My recommendation will be to use the company Wise. It’s the most inexpensive, reliable, and efficient way to transfer money from account to account.
This way, you can also transfer rupees without losing much on exchange rates. Transferwise has the best exchange rate on the market, and the money exchange offices will rip you off in this case.
It was specifically created to provide fast, affordable, and efficient transfers, which makes it different from traditional banks. This company is trusted in all corners of the world.
Through Wise, you can send money approximately eight times cheaper than if you use traditional bank methods.
The process of sending money via Wise is quite simple: you choose the currency/country and the amount, then add your data (from where money should be deducted), such as a debit/credit card or bank account, and add the bank account of the receiver. The amount will be transferred automatically from your bank.
While processing the transaction, you can also see the current and guaranteed exchange rate. That way, Wise predicts an exchange rate on the arrival date. You can be sure they provide the best rate on the market.
Before the transaction, Wise informs you about the estimated date of arrival. Usually, it takes between 1 – 3 days to receive money in Germany. Still, it can also take only a few hours.
Wise is upfront with their fees; to send money from India to Germany, you pay a small, flat fee of 498.11 INR + 1.78% of the converted amount. In total, it will be around 190 EUR. Your transfer will arrive in Germany within one day.
Money can be sent via bank transfer, swift, or debit/credit card.
If you can’t decide, check Wise reviews on Trustpilot.
2. International Bank Transfer (wire transfer)
You can also use classical bank transfer if your bank has this option, but it will be pricey. For this, you will need the following:
- The recipient’s name, address, and account type
- The name and address of the recipient’s bank
- The recipient’s account number or IBAN (International Bank Account Number)
- The recipient’s bank’s BIC/SWIFT code
While using this method, be sure that the amount you are transferring covers 10,236 EUR and additional feels bank charges. The process will take between 3 and 5 days on average.
Pay attention to the following caveats:
- Higher exchange rates
- Higher margins
PayPal has been around for 20 years and is the world’s largest international remittance service. I will be surprised if you don’t use it yet. PayPal allows clients to transfer money from a PayPal account or a preferable card/bank.
Through PayPal, you will get a trustworthy and reliable service. However, it has several fees that will add up when you make the international transfer.
The amount PayPal charges depends on the nature of the transaction, the amount of money PayPal processes for you each month, currency conversion, and the country of the sender and receiver.
Moreover, you can only send payments using a linked Indian card enabled for international transactions.
Also, if you are sending rupees to expect a significant loss on currency exchange, PayPal set up its rates, and they aren’t the best in the market.
Read this article about money transfers from Germany to India.
Western Union has been known for sending and receiving money for many years. Most people use them to send cash, as they don’t require having a bank account for this purpose.
However, as you will need to transfer money to your blocked account and not into someone’s hands, having a bank account is necessary. Therefore, you can only use their online services.
In the last years, Western Union started to operate more online, where you can transfer money from your bank account to another country. The money will be automatically converted to the local currency.
Notice that money transfer companies are the most expensive way to send money; they have higher fees and bad exchange rates compared to other online options.
Nevertheless, remittance services such as Western Union or Money Gram have very unfavorable exchange rates and transaction fees. You will be paying a lot for their convenience and speed.
Euro or Rupees?
You can transfer money in both currencies, rupees, and euros. Rupees will be a cheaper option as you don’t need to exchange them in an exchange office beforehand. As soon as you transfer this money, you will automatically be converted into euros.
Fintiba, however, recommends transferring money in euros. This guarantees simpler banking processes and faster issuance of the blocking confirmation.
Consequently better if you exchange rupees in your home bank or exchange office and after sending them to the Fintiba.
How to access your account and withdraw money?
Once you have opened a local bank account in Germany, money will be available to withdraw. You can only get cash through the regular account (Giro), which must be connected to the blocked account.
Therefore, you won’t have direct access to your blocked amount in Germany, but only to this debit card with a monthly amount.
The only amount of 853 EUR per month will be free to use, and the rest will remain to be blocked. However, students can withdraw more money if they have deposited a higher amount.
The total sum of money in your blocked account will be divided into 12 months, which will be your monthly budget.
Do you need to prove the source of the money?
With Fintiba and DR.WALTER there is no need to prove the source of the funds you transfer. With Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, you will have to show the origin of your funds. There are different ways you can do this.
The most common way of proving your financial means is by submitting a bank statement that reveals your deposit records in a bank.
How much does it cost?
- When opening a blocked account with Fintiba, you will pay an initial fee of 89 EUR and a monthly fee of 4,90 EUR.
- DR.WALTER will charge you 49 EUR and 5 EUR monthly. This is by far the cheapest option.
- If you opt for Deutsche Bank, an initial fee of 150 EUR will be charged, plus a monthly fee is 5,90.
- It’s free to open an account with Kotak Mahindra Bank, but after that, students have to open a bank account in Germany, which costs at least 150 EUR.